Global Builders – Sri Lanka

Global Builders Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a small island (slightly larger than West Virginia) located south of India in the Indian Ocean. Well built, clean housing is rare and very expensive in Sri Lanka. Therefore, families collect whatever they can to create a shelter. Many families live in slums or wooden shacks. Those who have land often cannot afford to build a house on the land or obtain a loan due to high interest rates. Often the land is worthless and cannot be sold. Families who rent are required to pay a majority of their income for rent with very little left for other basic needs. We are addressing these needs by partnering with the United Christian Fellowship to help families build or improve their homes using no-profit, no-interest loans.

Our work includes renovations, half-built houses, roof repairs, room additions and full house constructions. As of June 2017, over 140 families have moved into new homes or had their homes substantially improved through partnership with the Fuller Center, but there is much left to do. Our work is based in Moratuwa, but projects have extended throughout the island as urgent needs have been addressed. The project stems from our Christian faith and partners with any family in need, regardless of ethnic group or religion. The project’s leader Rev. Ranjan Fernando says, “It is our duty to explain that Jesus loves everybody and has special concern for those in need and to show our love and compassion to these needy families.”

Getting Involved

There are several ways that you can get involved:

  • Donate to support this specific partner. Houses cost money to build, so any donation is always helpful!
  • Volunteer on one of our Global Builders teams, which you can learn more about below. You’ll travel to Sri Lanka and get to know the local people and traditions while you partner with families to complete a home.
  • Join a virtual volunteer team, choosing to donate your travel costs instead of making the trip in person. This is the perfect way to stay involved and give back during the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Sponsorship Cost: $2,800

House Improvement Cost: $1,500

Upcoming Trips

Click on the leader’s name to learn more about the leader and trip details. Click “Join” to apply for their trip. Have a spot reserved on a “Full” trip? Complete your registration here. Or learn about sending funds to support local labor by joining as a virtual participant.

Sri Lanka is a nation that has been ravaged by a brutal civil war that started in the 1980s. The ethnic conflict not only destroyed homes and displaced residents, but stalled economic growth. The war came to an end in May 2009 but in addition to the civil war, the country was also hit by a tsunami in 2004 and massive flooding in 2012. To make things worse, Christians and other religions that were not historically found in Sri Lanka face significant persecution from local Buddhists.

It is safe to say that the country is in need of partners and helping hands. Even though Sri Lanka has endured much disaster the beauty of the country continues to shine brightly. From the tropical beaches, to the rolling hills, to the local art/architecture and even to the country’s wildlife, there is something for everyone.

What is a trip like?

Each trip to Sri Lanka will be with a group of mission-minded volunteers – typically 8-20 total – who want to experience the world, meet new people, and make a difference. No skills required. Trips last 1-2 weeks and include sightseeing in this beautiful exotic island.

  • 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 9:00 a.m. – Begin building at work-site
  • 12:00 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Continue building
  • 4:00 p.m. – Evening free for dinner and relaxation

Exact schedules can be discussed and set depending on the team’s preferences and length of stay.

We are building with bricks or concrete blocks and stuccoing a portion of the completed homes. Most of our projects are small in scope – building a single room addition or one-room basic home for a family, replacing a roof, helping a family have a solid door, etc. Work will typically involve helping the masons and carpenters. At times there will be painting, and any other work related to a particular build. We will provide necessary tools, but as with most build sites, it never hurts to bring a few small hand tools with you.

Volunteers will stay in double or triple rooms in Hotel Haus Chandra, which is within easy walking distance of the Golden Mile Beach of Moutn Lavinia, where volunteers will enjoy delicious meals and beautiful sunsets. The hotel has electricity, running water, clean bathroom facilities, air conditioning, wi-fi, and a business center. Toiletries, bedding, towels, and blankets are provided. Best of all, Hotel Haus Chandra has a website here.

A small bus will be rented to transport the group throughout each day. The distance from the hotel to each work-site will vary, but on average it is about 20 minutes.

The hotel will provide bedding and towels, but we recommend you bring your own washcloth. Sturdy work clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty are essential, and it always helps to bring things like small first aid kits, work gloves, safety glasses, and small hand tools. A full packing list is provided in the Sri Lanka guidebook.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with much to do. We expect each group to spend at least a couple of days seeing the sites – or more if the group desires. You can go to the beach, visit a Buddhist temple, see the elephant orphanage, take in the views from the mountain top, or change things up and spend a day feeding the hungry.

A standard 1-2 week trip to Sri Lanka will cost roughly $1300-$1400/person. This fee covers all in-country transportation, food, lodging, insurance, and a donation to fund the project itself. Airfare, R&R activities, and tips are not covered by the fee.Trip budgets are created for each team, so contact your trip leader or globalbuilders@fullercenter.org for more information about specific trip costs.

Are you unsure of how to prepare for such an experience or just looking for some tips on how to be better prepared? If so, we suggest you take a look at our Trip Preparation page where you will find a lot of helpful information and links – Preparing For Your Trip!

Pricing – What’s included?

Team MaterialsFuller Center hat, t-shirt, country guidebook, fundraising guide, & more
Trip SupportEasy contact with Team Leader and Global Builders staff
Food and Drink3 meals a day provided by safe, sanitary local vendors
TransportationTo and from work sites and airport
LodgingHouse Chandra
Travel InsuranceCurrently provided by Core Travel Insurance. Contact GB staff for details
Life-changing workAlongside your teammates and the homeowners!

What happens after a trip?

Even after you return, your trip can have a sustained impact on both you and the community in which you served! 
Learn how on our Country Champions page.

Before example
After example

 

 

Learn the Basics – Area Info

Language:
Sinhala (Official), Tamil (National), English (Non-official)
Age Structure:
0-14 years 24.35%, 15-24 years 14.7%, 25-54 41.71%, 55+ 19.24%
Population:
22,235,000 (2016 est.)
Life Expectancy: 76.8 years (Male 73.3, Female 80.4)
Climate:  
Averages: High 80s to 90s, Lows 70s to 80s Rainy Season: May-August
Currency:
Sri Lankan Rupee (Rs): $1 USD = Rs. 153
Literacy Rate:
92.6% (Male 93.6%, Female 91.7%)
Ethnic Groups:
Sinhalese 74.9%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.2%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.2%, Indian Tamil 4.2%, Other 0.5%
Religion: 
Buddhist 70.2%, Hindu 12.6%, Muslim 9.7%, Christian 7.4%, Other 0.1%